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Le Mans Saturday Notebook

John Dagys’ Saturday notebook from Le Mans, ahead of scrutineering…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Following Millennium Racing’s withdrawal from Le Mans for the second time, next weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans will see now see a 55-car starting field. The ACO confirmed Saturday there will be no replacement for the UAE-backed, UK-based effort.

***The No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR has been forced to revert to a replacement chassis following Joerg Bergmeister’s high-flying trip through the gravel trap at the Ford Chicane at the test day. JMW Motorsport’s Ferrari F458 Italia, which suffered similar fate in the hands of Spencer Pumpelly, also reportedly sustained minor chassis damage but is believed to have been fixable. Both incidents were due to the drivers’ trying to avoid newly installed curbing in the corner.

***Additional Balance of Performance adjustments have been made to GTE cars following the test day. All of the production-based machines have been given a 5-liter fuel capacity increase, while the Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs (997 model) can run 20 kg lighter, along with a 10 mm adjustment in the 2012 model’s gurney. This is in addition to a 5-liter fuel capacity increase given to the Aston Martins prior to the test day.

***Krohn Racing arrived at Le Mans on Friday, but without their green Ferrari F458 Italia, which remained at Michelotto undergoing upgrades. The GTE-Am entry is expected to arrive at the circuit on Sunday afternoon, ahead of the team’s scrutineering appointment on Monday afternoon. The Houston-based team was a late addition following the withdrawal of Strakka Racing.

***The majority of the Ferraris, including Krohn’s F458, are running a newly allowed Le Mans-specific aero kit. The kit, which primarily features updates to the nose, was first tested late last year by Risi Competizione at Daytona, but not used in the race. It’s understood that all Ferrari teams except the No. 53 Ram Racing and the No. 70 Team Taisan entries have opted for the upgrade, which reportedly runs as much as $68,000 for the entire package.

***Scrutineering kicks off Sunday afternoon in downtown Le Mans. Notable teams to roll through the Place de Republique include OAK Racing, Porsche, Toyota and the Nissan ZEOD RC. With a 60 percent chance of afternoon thunderstorms, the weather looks a bit questionable. Click Here to view the full schedule for the next two days.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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